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The Edward Carpenter Community
For men who love men

Kench Hill

Kench Hill, near Tenterden, Kent

Fri 26th to Tue 30th May 2023

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Photo for Kench Hill Photo for Kench Hill Photo for Kench Hill

A return visit to this delightful venue

A long weekend in the lovely High Weald countryside of Kent. We have exclusive use of the Kench Hill Centre, an intimate and comfortable venue set in a rural location, only a short journey from London.

We warmly invite you to bring your ideas, skills and talents to share, but more than this, we would like you to come with an openness to become part of a supportive community, in whatever way suits you - to take a lead, offer a workshop, take part in activities - or not, just relax and, most importantly, make friends.  As always, the success of the gathering depends on the enthusiasm and initiative of the participants. A “workshop” at an ECC event can be just about anything, from fun and games to profound discussions, massage, meditation, teaching a skill, a walk, a visit to a nearby attraction.

There will be all the usual structures of an ECC event. These ensure that everyone is included, that each man is heard and honoured, and help generate that feeling of welcome, unconditional acceptance and sense of community that characterise our gatherings.

The venue is in a secluded area away from roads with about a hectare of garden with lawns, picnic tables and a couple of ponds (home to some very vocal Marsh frogs). There’s a fire-pit, which we’ll be using late nights.

The house has a homely feel and bathroom facilities are good, if slightly eccentric. While the venue sleeps 50+, there will be only 28 of us, so we will have plenty of space in the shared rooms.


We will be wholly self-catering, so we ask all to do their bit helping out with cooking and washing up at a couple of times during the weekend.  The kitchen is modern and well-equipped.  Breakfast will be self-service, and lunches kept simple, to allow guys to enjoy the day out and about.  We have a lead cook – David – to look after the kitchen and the food. As with all ECC events, food will be vegetarian, and vegan if required. Please let us know on your booking forms of any “free from” or other dietary requirements.

Places on the event can fill up very quickly, though we will hold 25% of places until one month before the event starts for first-timers to ECC events.

Nearby places to visit

There are lots! Groups often have a trip or two out while at Kench Hill, though some prefer to stay on site the whole time. Places of interest include two contrasting gardens with LGBT connections: the famous gardens at Sissinghurst Castle, created by Vita Sackville-West, lover of Virginia Woolf, and Prospect Cottage on the bleak promontory at Dungeness, created by gay activist, artist and film-maker Derek Jarman. Lovely little coastal towns, beaches and heritage railways are among other attractions.


Your organising team comprises Shaun Waller, Rob Parker and Mike Kaye. David Wray will be looking after the kitchen and the catering arrangements. 

Shaun Waller
Rob Parker
Mike Kaye
David Wray

For further information please contact us:

Rob Parker (for enquiries about bookings, sleeping accommodation etc) *******@*****.**.** ***** *** ***

Mike Kaye (for enquiries about the venue, food, or anything else) *********@****.***  ***** *** ***

Essential Information

Venue: Kench Hill Centre, Appledore Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 7DG

Dates: Friday 26th May, arrive from about 4pm, to Tuesday 30th May, leave by noon.

Nearest shops: In Tenterden, a small local town 2 miles away, about a 10 minute drive. Lots of little shops, cafes, pubs and a Waitrose.

Alcohol: There is no bar at the venue. If alcohol is required participants will need to bring their own.

Public transport: Nearest rail stations are Ashford (high speed trains from London St Pancras can get you there in around 40  minutes – probably  most convenient for guys from the Midlands and North) or Headcorn (about an hour from London Bridge / Charing Cross stations). From Ashford, there are buses to Tenterden, and then a 2-mile walk, taxi or we may be able to pick you up. A bookable taxi service from Headcorn is available.  Cost is about £25 per single journey so we advise pre-booking in advance, and taxi-sharing, as far as is possible.  More transport details will be circulated in advance of the event to those who book.

Accessibility: The venue has a ground floor bedroom, which can accommodate one or two wheelchair users or guys with mobility difficulties. There is a bathroom close by  with shower, basin and toilet equipped with aids for people with disabilities.

All the rooms we will be using for our activities will be accessible to wheelchair users, including the big outbuilding, accessed by a wide, low gradient ramp. The patio tables and sunbathing lawns are also entirely accessible, though if you wander into some areas of the gardens you may encounter some challenges. Please ask Mike (07984 148 203) if unsure. The venue has a comprehensive accessibility statement.

COVID-19: Our events are open to men of all backgrounds, some of whom may be medically vulnerable. To help keep everyone safe, we have adopted a set of covid guidelines which we ask all participants to read and adhere to.
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